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What to remember when you’re the boss

Don’t inadvertently become a bad boss.

When you’re the boss, there’s one important thing you need to remember: you’re the boss.

This means that, whether you like it or not, there’s an inherent power dynamic in every interaction you have with your employees.

You’re the person your employee is least willing to go to about a problem.

You’re the last person your employee wants to share bad news with.

Your off-hand suggestion, which feels so casual to you, can be interpreted as a mandate.

Your critique, while well-intentioned, can feel like a death blow to an employee.

You’re always getting a version of the truth. And every statement you make and action you take is heightened.

It’s only human nature. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. You give those in charge the benefit of the doubt.

This means that as a CEO, founder, owner, or manager, you need to be aware of this power dynamic in every situation you’re in with your employees.

How are you coming across? What’s your body language? Do you ask questions? Do you listen? Do you go out of the way to help one of your employees? How accessible are you?

Especially as you ask, give, and receive feedback, you must remember this.

It’s not just anyone who’s asking, “What can be better in the company?” or making the remark, “I don’t think we should be moving it that direction.”

The boss is saying those things. The responses and reactions you receive will be distorted because of it.

Don’t forget this.

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Written by Claire Lew

CEO of Canopy. My mission in life is to help people become happier at work. Say hi to me on Twitter at @clairejlew.